Stephen Colbert normally launches into his monologue with some jokes. But on Wednesday, he began with an apology of sorts.
The apology goes back to Colbert’s monologue on Monday. That monologue included a string of insults against President Donald Trump. Among those insults, he said, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”
As I wrote on Tuesday, this is homophobic: In a setting in which Colbert was deliberately trying to find a way to insult Trump, it was telling he resorted to suggesting that Trump is engaging in sexual acts with another man. The joke’s vulgarity and homophobia is one reason, along with right-wing opposition to a progressive late night host, that the #FireColbert hashtag began to trend on Twitter.
Colbert subtly responded to all of this on Wednesday.
“I’m your host Stephen Colbert,” he said. “Still? Am I still the host? I’m still the host!”
“If you saw my monologue on Monday, you know that I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” Colbert went on. “So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. … I believe he can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So it’s a fair fight.”
“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” he continued. “Now, I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person in their own way is to me an American hero. And I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But that.”
It’s not a full apology, but Colbert, at least, suggested he wouldn’t use the homophobic insult again — and threw some supportive words for same-sex couples along the way.